when i first started cooking, roasting a chicken was always a daunting and terrifying task. i can’t tell you how many times my chicken looked perfect on the outside, but was a poster bird for salmonella on the inside. then there was the parade of over-cooked and dried out birds that even the most delectable gravy couldn’t salvage. looking back, i don’t understand what was so difficult about simply roasting a chicken. i promise, it’s not that hard. and i know we’ve all tried our hand at basting, brining
, stuffing, trussing, and tenting, but i’m
here to tell you that after a few easy steps, all you have to do is shut the oven door and come back in 90 minutes.
4 1/2 to 5 lb free range chicken
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
the night before you are planning to serve your chicken, remove the giblet package and trim away any fat around the cavity. pat the skin dry with paper towels and place on a small cookie sheet with 2 inch sides that you have lined with heavy duty aluminum foil. (this makes clean up a breeze. just wait for the pan to cool and toss the foil) tuck the wings tips under the fatter part of the wing to prevent them from burning. mix together the butter and olive oil and brush all over the chicken. season the bird with the salt, pepper, and rosemary, making sure to season the cavity as well, and refrigerate, uncovered, overnight.
preheat oven to 375 degrees. take the chicken out of the fridge about an hour before you put it in the oven to get it up to room temperature. bake your bird for 90 minutes. remove it to a cutting board and let it rest for 20 minutes uncovered. carve and serve!
it really is that simple. no need to baste or truss or stuff the cavity with lemons and herbs. i’ve
tried all the tricks and narrowed it down for you. the overnight stay in the fridge does wonders for the flavor of the meat and the skin. if you are new to carving, it’s easiest to remove the legs and wings first and then carve off each side of the breast. i hope if you were afraid of roasting a chicken that you’re not afraid anymore. it’s just chicken people!
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